Thursday, July 31, 2008

Date Night

My mom is in town for a few days. Granted, she brought my sister's four kids with her, but it's still nice to have her around. Not only has she been working on rewashing all of Reagan's laundry from the hives breakout, she's been kind enough to let Bill and me get time to ourselves.

Take tonight, for example. After all the kids went to bed we went out on a date. Ok, not a real date, but it pretty much felt like one. We went to the grocery store. Alone. It was so relaxing and refreshing to casually stroll through the aisles and put things in the cart and read labels at leisure. Usually we have the girls and by the time we get to the sodas we are saying, "Ok, forget the rest of the stuff! We don't really need it. I'll go get in the checkout line and you bring up the rear after you run get a case of Diet Coke. Hurry! Hurry! Hurry! We have to get out of here before they both spontaneously combust! Uh, oh. I already hear the little one starting. Eeewww! The other one has a dirty diaper strong enough to clear all of Shanghai! We've got to get out of here before someone calls in a hazmat team!" I don't believe it was coincidence that our grocery bill was much higher this week than it normally is.

Tomorrow night we get a real date night. One of those date nights we get about four or five times a year. We are going to a dinner and a movie and then we are standing in line with the rest of the Twilighters to get the fourth book when it comes out at midnight. I am SO looking forward to it!

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Wordless Wednesday: Redneck tank top

My friend Joy sent me this picture today. It was too good not to share.

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

What's for dinner, Sloppy Joe Pie

I can remember being a kid and seeing my Mom standing at the stove, browning a pound of ground beef. I'd ask her, "What's for dinner?" Her response was usually, "I don't know yet." It boggled my mind how she'd already be cooking when she didn't know what dinner was to be. However, her method started like many of us, one pound of ground beef. From there, she may have decided to do one of several things, usually fairly predictable and somewhat boring (sorry Mom!). Today, I often find myself with the same base as my mom: one pound of ground beef or turkey or ground sausage. I'm always trying to find another use for the ground meat for days when things need to be quick and simple.

Let me be the first to admit, this recipe is still no gourmet affair. But it is a few big steps up from Hamburger Helper. This is simple, kid friendly comfort food at it's easiest. When your are standing at the fridge with the door open and needing something a little different to do with the pound of ground beef staring you down, this is it. This will prevent a revolt should you be tempted to reach for one more box of Hamburger Helper. This is so quick and easy and has so few ingredients, you may even add this to your regular rotation of meals.

Prep time: 15 minutes
Cook time: 15 minutes

* 1 lb ground beef or turkey
* 1 cup frozen onion, or one fresh onion diced
* 1.5 cups frozen corn, or one can of canned corn
* 1 can Mamwich or 1 bottle of BBQ sauce (whatever you have on hand will work
* 1 can refrigerated biscuits
* 1.5 cups grated Cheddar cheese

* Preheat oven to 350 (if the directions on your can of biscuits tell you differently, go with the biscuit directions)
* Brown the ground beef, cook the onion with it, drain
* Add your corn (it's ok if it is still frozen, you don't want to cook the corn with the beef and onion because it will lose its crunch)
* Add your can of mamwich or BBQ sauce, stir everything together
* In a pie pan, use your biscuits to create a soft of crust by smooshing them out and pressing them together, something like this
* Add your hamburger mixture to the pie pan, smooth it down (go ahead and load it in there, make it all fit, even if it is bulging a little high at the middle)
* Top with your cheddar cheese
* Put the pie pan on a cookie sheet in case something bubbles over
* Cook in the oven for about 15 minutes (just follow the oven temp and cooking time for your biscuits)
* When the cheese is melted and the biscuits look done, pull out and let cool (the longer you let it cool the more it will "set up." If you try to serve it too early it will fall apart when you dish it out)
* Cut like a pie and serve

Sunday, July 27, 2008

Book reviews: Stephanie Meyer Twilight series and The Host

So last weekend I bought a few books. I began the Twilight series by Stephanie Meyer. I devoured the books in a few short days and then read her latest book, intended for adults, "The Host." Now that I've finished four books and 2500 pages in the space of a week, let me tell you a little bit about what I thought about them.

Twilight series: Twilight, New Moon, Eclipse
This is a series about a teen named Bella who falls for a boy. But, not just any boy mind you. Bella falls for one that happens to be vampire and wants to kill her as much as he wants to love her. The series follows her story as she moves to a tiny town in the northwest and begins to interact with people that until she moved there, she would have believed were only mythical characters from story books.

These are just downright fun books. I haven't enjoyed books this much since the Harry Potter series. But unlike the Harry Potter series that throws in turns and often keeps you guessing to the end, with the Twilight books I felt like I already knew the entire story in the first 50 pages. It didn't really matter though, I devoured each book after the next. What kept me reading wasn't necessarily suspense, it was more wanting to hear the story told in the way only the author could. But don't get me wrong, there were certainly plenty of surprises along the way.

The character development is very rich and the main characters are so likable and easy to identify with. I cared about Bella and the others and wanted to hear the story. I identified with her as a strong, independent girl and remembered what it was like to be that age and too inexperienced to always make good decisions and too prideful to admit it. I understood her conflicts and wondered what I would do in her position. I also have to mention that I appreciated that the series was written for young adults and found the chastity in the relationship very refreshing.

All in all, I absolutely recommend the books to young and old. They are fun, refreshing books. And who doesn't love a good vampire story? I'll be in line with everyone else when the next book comes out this weekend. I'm hooked and happy to fulfill my fondness for the magic and mysticism genre with the Twilight series.

The Host
This was Meyer's first book targeted for adults. I have to say she certainly stepped things up a notch from her young adult series. I have to admit that somewhere around page 85 I considered putting the book down. I thought it was going to be a tearjerker and just mess with my emotions too much. Bill encouraged me to keep reading a little longer and I'm really glad I did.

While with the Twilight series I could see the road ahead, with "The Host", I was blind. I was reading in faith wondering what kind of journey I was going on. This is a sci-fi in your own backyard story that talks of species and life on other planets but the conflict and the aliens are right here on earth. It is a "The Puppetmaster" or "Invasion of the Body Snatchers" kind of story where the basic concept is earth has been silently invaded by aliens that have taken over humans as nothing more than hosts for the parasitic aliens and have pretended to still be human.

Unlike the above mentioned books, "The Host" is not a horror story. It instead delves deep into the study of the psyche of a symbiotic relationship and the chaos and questions surrounding it as it follows one who has become a host and a few remaining humans as they fight to keep from becoming extinct. Again, Meyer shines in character development and at some points I related to both human and alien so much I couldn't remember what side I was really on. Her whimsical tales of species' on other planets are so vivid I felt like I had been there.

I found myself contemplating a lot of questions with this book. It really made me take pause and think about a lot of themes: ethics, love, mortality, humanity, aliens, the greater good, sacrifice, prejudice. I love a book that makes me still think once I've put the book down. It's even better when the story to cause so much thought is an exciting, entertaining story. In that, this book did not disappoint. I'd recommend this book to anyone that enjoys the sci-fi genre or someone who is looking for a book to challenge their minds.


Poor Reagan! After all that laundry that my sister and I did recently, it turns out that Reagan was allergic to the detergent. Last night she slept in a tank top that had been washed in the detergent and this morning she was covered in hives anywhere the tank top had contact with her skin. Since I don't know what got washed in it and what didn't, I've now got to go rewash ALL of her laundry! Argh!

Some other random notes:
We went shopping today for a few things to finish my closet and Bailey's room. Wouldn't you know Ikea was out of what I wanted? As soon as that stuff comes in I'll post pictures of both the room and the closets. For the first time ever, I'll debut pictures of neat and organized closets.

I finally talked Bill into replacing our bed and dresser. I've always hated that furniture, mostly because I didn't pick it. It's left over from before we met. So today I drag him to every furniture store in town and I can't find a bed I like. Figures. But now I'm on a mission, preferably before he changes his mind. Anyone have a awesomely cool suggestion for a king size bed?

Bailey's sick with a cold. She's been having a terrible time at night and she's been getting lots of showers to let the steam work on her nose and chest. Between her cold and Reagan's hives it will be a miracle if the daycare lets both girls stay the day tomorrow.

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Hotsseat Answers

Thanks to everyone that submitted questions yesterday. Thanks Heidi, MrsMoma, Martina, Mountain Mom, Susan, Deanna, Lindsay, Jen, LauraC, Mama's Losin It, and Joanna!

How did you end up in Georgia?
I moved to Macon from Iowa with my family when I was 12. When I was 19 I'd had enough of the small, backwards town and went to live in Milwaukee, where my Dad lives. After one year in the frozen tundra I doubled back to Florida where my Mom and family lived. I spent less than a year there because I was too poor to live in the nice area where my family lived and sick of living in the neighborhood in Tampa that was shown every time "COPS" Tampa aired. So I found myself in Atlanta. This is where I really wanted to go all along. but I didn't originally because I felt it was too close to Macon. I've been in Atlanta since 94. I don't see myself moving anywhere else any time soon.

Where the heck have you been??? Okay that's not really my question..
Well, first my sister was here and we spent every available moment working on clothes and closets. Then when she left, I gave in to all of the mommy blogger peer pressure and picked up Twilight. I read the first and second book in three days and just started the third. I'm terrible about putting a book down once I start reading it.

How do you really feel about having 2 girls, esp when you think about the teen years to come? :)
I love having two girls. Sometimes I wish we also had a boy for Bill, but I wouldn't trade our two girls for anything. I am hoping we can go through the teen years with our relationships mostly in tact, our sanity in check, and midriffs covered. I may be a little optimistic on all three.

how do you come up with your topics? and writing style? and hilarity? ok, so take your pick on what you want to answer, lol.
My life gives me most of the topics. I have that kind of life that just seems to be a magnet for disaster, even of the most mundane and unsuspecting tasks. Believe it or not, some of the best stories have never made it into the blog. They probably never will either, because I don't want to share stories that would possibly hurt or embarrass someone in the end or get me in trouble at work. As far as my writing style, I just write as I would speak to someone. And I think you're being overly generous with the hilarity, but I'll take it.

If you were stranded on a desert island and you could have one person with you and only one item to eat every single day, who would you choose to be with you and what would you eat? And, how do you think you would have answered this question before you were married and had kids?
My person of choice would be Bill. If I were pregnant I'd say my food of choice would be a Burger King bacon double cheeseburger (was addicted to those with both pregnancies). Not pregnant, I'd have to go with triscuits and hummus. I never seem to get sick of that. Before I was married with kids I still would have gone for the Triscuits and Hummus.

Do you ever worry your kids will have some of your physical or personality traits that you don't care for in yourself?
Absolutely. I don't want my kids to be fat or have the Irish cankles (I think they are both doomed on the cankles anyway). When I get angry I cry. It's embarrassing and maddening. I hope to spare the girls of that trait. I also recognize that I carry the "addictive gene" and while I've managed to avoid life altering addictions, I can easily become addicted to smaller, unhealthy things. I hope they avoid that too.

Least favorite house chore?
Hmm...based on the bazillion posts about my closets piled to the ceiling with clothes, I'd have to go with laundry.

How did you and DH (dear husband) meet?
We have a mutual friend. Bill was having a big party that was going to be catered, DJ'd, and decorated. Our mutual friend volunteered me to do the decorations for his party.

Have you ever been back to that store where you had that horrible experience that you posted about? Also, any other horrid shopping experiences?
Yes, once and I think some recognized me. While taking both girls hasn't always been a cakewalk, nothing has ever compared to the one fateful grocery store experience. I pray I am always able to say that statement.

What are the most common misconceptions people have about you (and your family) as LDS?
People think we still practice polygamy or confuse us with Jehovah's Witnesses. I've had people say I didn't believe in Jesus or surprised that I dance. People assume I want six kids. Let me assure you, I do not. When my current client manager learned I was LDS he said, "Really? I wouldn't have pegged you as LDS. Most Mormons I can pick out within 10 minutes of meeting them because they are so over bubbly. You aren't...bubbly" I don't know what that all means, exactly. I still haven't decided if I'm insulted.

Have you stopped playing WoW?
I haven't cancelled my subscription, but I haven't played in quite a while. I just haven't had the time. After being glued to it for the first two weeks of starting to play again, it was a lot easier for me to walk way.

How much time a day do you spend blogging?
Lately, not enough. When I'm posting every day like I normally do, it is about an hour a day. Of course, I couldn't tell you how much time I spend reading other people's blogs. I spend way more time reading others' than working on mine.

Why do you blog?
Originally I started blogging because I was terrible at keeping up baby books and scrapbooks and I wanted my girls to have a record of their lives. That is still one of the primary functions of this blog. I don't put anything in here I wouldn't want them to be able to read 15 years from now. However, once I started blogging I found it was a great replacement for a therapist and it led me to tons of friends I didn't know I wanted or needed. My introverted self really gets a lot out of being able to communicate with people in this medium. I love to write and I love knowing people are reading what I write. That's what keeps me blogging.

What's your favorite thing about each of your kids?
I love Reagan's intelligence and her creativity to problem solving
I love Bailey's infectious smile and laugh

What's your least favorite think about each of your kids?
Reagan wakes up crying, every single day.
Bailey doesn't want to sleep through the night.

If your child was enrolled in swim lessons, but screamed each time you had to go...would you insist or would you pull her out??
Tough question. I think I wouldn't give up on the swimming lessons, I'd look for another approach to teaching them. We have a pool so it was really important that Reagan learned to swim sooner rather than later. I don't think I would have given up on that goal.

Would you like to adopt a Greyhound?
I don't even want to adopt a goldfish

What was your favorite subject in high school?

What "group" would you classify yourself in high school?
I was a nerd. I'm still a nerd.

What is a typical dinner like at your house?
Somewhere other than at our house.

How often do you and your husband go out for "date" nights just the two of you?
This is very rare. We have babysitter issues and no family in town so we only get to go a few times a year.

And am I your top number one favoritist bestest most loved blog to read EVER??? (their is a right and wrong answer to this question)
YES! (and so are all of the other blogs I read regularly)

What is your biggest fear for you girls as they grow up?
That they will be hurt and not feel like they fit in with any friends

What kind of books do you like to read?
I'm all over the board with books. I read all kinds of stuff. My favorites though are ones with a bit of a sci fi/fantasy/goth theme through them.

What is your guilty pleasure?
Going skinny dipping in the pool around midnight and floating around, looking up at the stars.

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Hotseat time

Ok, it's my turn to do a hotseat. Here's how it works:

1)You leave me all kinds of clever, embarrassing, or whatever type questions that you want to know about me in the comments on this post
2) I will answer them in subsequent posts

Ok, go...

Friday, July 18, 2008

Small peak at what I've been up to

Here is the master bedroom. One day I'll get drapes hung. One thing at a time. Anyway, the cabinet between the windows was previously sitting unused in the guest room. I put the cabinet in here and found some great storage bins (Itso from Target- part of their dorm room collection stuff). These bins now hold all of my socks, lingerie, hats, scarves, etc. The frosted glass lets the colors of the bins show through which match the room perfectly and the solid canvas hides all of the clutter.
Tara left today after a really hard working week. She's been invaluable to me. She took with her 300 lbs of clothes, shoes, accessories, linens, and decor that I decided I no longer need. I don't have a final tally yet on how much I'm donating and trashing, but it is more than 300lbs. It feels good to see the floor of closets again. I haven't seen them in a long time. I'm not missing the stuff that came out of them at all. How could I? I didn't even remember most of that stuff was there.
I have lots more to show you. This is just the start.

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

I gotta be me

As part of my job, every two weeks I get to spend a few hours teaching some concept of project management or leadership to people at my client. Last week I covered the Meyers-Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI) and Keirsey Temperament Indicator. It is always a fun class because people get to spend a few hours making observations of others and talking about themselves. We all love to do that, right?

When I was thinking about all of the work that I've been doing to get the closets cleaned out and everything organized, I thought back to that class. It is all so clear why I am where I am. To give some background the MBTI, the concept is that we are born with certain inherent traits just as we are born with a preference for handedness. These traits are classified into four dimensions or dichotomies. These four dimensions put together come up with one of sixteen personality types. There is no one right or wrong personality type, just differences. Differences that all have inherent strengths and weaknesses.

My personality type is INTP. Let me break this down:

I- Introvert.
Yes, I am an introvert, not an extrovert. Many are surprised to hear that of me because I've done public speaking to crowds over 1000 and used to spend years teaching to people all over the world. I love to do it. But being introverted doesn't mean that I can't deal with people or don't want to talk to them, it simply means I get my energy from within. So after a very long day of dealing with many people or going to a party or teaching a class, I need some down time. Extraverts would be totally energized from the connections and the chat. I am drained. That's part of the reason that I love to blog. It gives me an excellent outlet to reaching out to people, but on my terms. As I write, it is just me and my thoughts and it gives me that energy that I need to revive.

N- iNtuitive.
I am iNtuitive as opposed to Sensing. This means that I prefer to look at the big picture rather than focus on the details. This can be a problem for a project manager if they are in more of a tactical role than a strategic one (I'm doing both right now). This is an example where I have taught myself to be more of one thing in a certain role so that I can do well in it. Although I don't like details, I realize I need them to succeed in my job. So I deal with it. At home, I love to start projects, but I often get bored and move on to other ones long before they are finished. If someone asks me to do a specific task without giving me context, I am paralyzed. I seriously can't move forward until I understand how my cog fits with yours and makes the whole clock go around. Even better, let me figure out how it should work instead of you tell me. Then you go make it go instead of me.

T- Thinking.
I am a thinker as opposed to feeling. This means that I look at all of the facts and make the best decision based on the information that I have, regardless of who may get hurt. This doesn't mean I'm a cold hearted natch. I certainly try to lessen the blow as much as possible and try very hard to avoid hurting people's feelings. But if it has to be done, it does. Yes, I've fired people. More than I care to count. A feeler would eventually do it after all other options had been exhausted and all hope was lost. And they would feel really, really crappy about it for a while. A thinker sees a problem and takes care of it for the sake of the greater good.

P- Perceiving.
This label is really misleading. The options are judging or perceiving. But it doesn't have anything to do with people. It is how you live your life. Now I finally get back to the point of my story and why I thought of my class when thinking about my closet. A perceiver tends to be very go with the flow. Deadlines are suggestions and they will procrastinate to the very end. Perceivers tend to be unorganized. They aren't planners, they make it up as they go along. Judgers are punctual, organized, list makers. They get stuff done. At work, I make myself be a Judger. But I can only keep that act up for so long. At home, I'm a perceiver. Bill and I took a trip to Ireland after we had been together about six months. I booked a few rooms and had a general route of where we wanted to go and that was the plan. We drove until we felt like stopping and then we stopped at the tourist bureau and found a room for the night. A judger would rather die a slow death by fire ants than go to a foreign country and not have a itinerary. Bill is a judger. He loved me and went only on blind faith and love. Bill also has a nice clean closet. I am a perceiver. Mine is uh, uh, well, not. But I'm working on it.

So, now that you know my personality type and more about me than you care to know, here's how you can find out what personality type is. Click here to take the test that will be basically an MBTI score. Let me know what you scored. Read about your personality type. Tell me if you agree. I'd really like to know!

If you're curious to know more about me, directly below is the complete profile of an INTP from You can find the other personality types there as well. Go check out yours once you've taken the test:

Architects (INTP)
need not be thought of as only interested in drawing blueprints for buildings or roads or bridges. They are the master designers of all kinds of theoretical systems, including school curricula, corporate strategies, and new technologies. For Architects, the world exists primarily to be analyzed, understood, explained - and re-designed. External reality in itself is unimportant, little more than raw material to be organized into structural models. What is important for Architects is that they grasp fundamental principles and natural laws, and that their designs are elegant, that is, efficient and coherent.

Architects are rare - maybe one percent of the population - and show the greatest precision in thought and speech of all the types. They tend to see distinctions and inconsistencies instantaneously, and can detect contradictions no matter when or where they were made. It is difficult for an Architect to listen to nonsense, even in a casual conversation, without pointing out the speaker's error. And in any serious discussion or debate Architects are devastating, their skill in framing arguments giving them an enormous advantage. Architects regard all discussions as a search for understanding, and believe their function is to eliminate inconsistencies, which can make communication with them an uncomfortable experience for many.

Ruthless pragmatists about ideas, and insatiably curious, Architects are driven to find the most efficient means to their ends, and they will learn in any manner and degree they can. They will listen to amateurs if their ideas are useful, and will ignore the experts if theirs are not. Authority derived from office, credential, or celebrity does not impress them. Architects are interested only in what make sense, and thus only statements that are consistent and coherent carry any weight with them.

Architects often seem difficult to know. They are inclined to be shy except with close friends, and their reserve is difficult to penetrate. Able to concentrate better than any other type, they prefer to work quietly at their computers or drafting tables, and often alone. Architects also become obsessed with analysis, and this can seem to shut others out. Once caught up in a thought process, Architects close off and persevere until they comprehend the issue in all its complexity. Architects prize intelligence, and with their grand desire to grasp the structure of the universe, they can seem arrogant and may show impatience with others who have less ability, or who are less driven.

Albert Einstein as the iconic Rational is an Architect

Tuesday, July 15, 2008


I haven't posted in several days. It's because I've been buried. Under a mountain of clothes.

Here's my confession. My Achilles heel has always been clothes and closets. Namely, I love to shop and hate to do laundry. I actually had times in my life where rather than do laundry, I'd just go buy new clothes. Bill may argue that I've never left that period. I'm not sure I'd have a strong counter argument. Especially given the state of the closets these days.

My sister, Tara, has been here for a few days with the mission of helping me get the closets organized and under control. It's quite an undertaking. And unfortunately, before things get better they get worse. A lot worse. Here is what Bailey's room looks like at this moment:

Here is the guestroom right now. I just realized this room is the only room in the house with white walls. I'll have to fix that...but not today. But clearly that wasn't my point. I was showing you what a mess the room is.

The big pile on the bed? That is stuff my sister is taking. She is happily taking away all of my nice Ralph Lauren black label, Jones New York, Calvin Klein, and all the other really nice expensive stuff in the skinny sizes I can't squeeze my butt into anymore.

Here is the closet in that room right now. You can't tell, but that closet goes really far back. I don't have a picture of it before we started this process. That entire closet was filled with clothes from the floor to chest high. One of Tara's girls climbed up into it and could touch the ceiling.

The last few days have been sorting, trashing, donating, and lots and lots of laundry. I took maybe 20% of the clothes to the fluff-n-fold. It came out to 225 lbs and filled half of the mini van from floor to ceiling. It was their single largest order in history. That's not a record I'm terribly proud of holding right now. I'm in big time purge mode and am getting rid of clothes, shoes, and accessories left and right.

So until the closets are organized, the floors are bare, and every remaining item has a home, my posting time is very limited. I have SO much work to do to get there. But I'm committed now that all of that stuff came out.

I just had a moment as I was typing this post. I just realized I would just die if someone came to my house right now and wanted a tour. Yet here I am throwing these pictures on the internet for the whole world to see. Well, you can be certain I'll be posting new pictures once everything is picked up and in order. I'll even show pictures of the insides of the closets. Something I have NEVER in my life done. The rest of the house may have looked showcase ready, but my closets have always been a fright.

I'm really excited to be purging and getting things organized under control. I know it will make getting ready so much easier. It will be much more cost effective (I think I'm up to over 50 pairs of khakis. Is that illegal in some states?). I'll feel a lot better looking at clean, organized closets without so much stuff in them. I've actually discovered so many cute clothes I forgot I had. But the person that will be most excited and happy will be my husband. I'm doing a lot of this for me, but mostly I'm doing it for my family. I'm doing it for Bill. I know how much this means to him, so it means that much more to me.

Thank you Tara for the help!!

Stay tuned for the after pictures! I can't wait for the reveal!

Just chillin and eatin my grilled cheese, yo

Bailey is almost seven months old now. She can sit up independently for short periods and is trying really hard to hold her own bottle. She recently got her first taste of regular food that didn't go through a mesh feeder first. She was so incredibly interested in my grilled cheese and grabbing at it like crazy. So I gave her a bit, and in her toothless little way she gummed the thing to death.

Bailey just had her six month checkup. She is doing great, no problems. She even seems to have mostly outgrown her reflux. She is on track with all of her milestones (sitting, reaching, changing hands with objects, etc.). She is catching up on her stats. When she was born six weeks early she was barely on the chart. Now her head and weight is in the 25th percentile and her height shot up to 50th.

Bailey continues to be what I am convinced is the easiest baby ever. She is very laid back, is always smiling, and is very alert and observant. She only cries when she needs something. One of my first posts on my blog was about the nature versus nurture debate. It was so clear by observing the girls that people are born with very innate personalities that can be influenced, but not entirely changed. I remain convinced. Reagan continues to be a joy and is often making us laugh or impressing our socks off. Reagan is also very much a challenge in many ways. Bailey continues to take things as they come and just be happy where she is.
I'm grateful for both of my girls just they way they are and love them dearly. I often wonder what they will be like when they grow up, what kind of relationships they'll have, what career choice they'll make. It's hard to believe these little ones will grow up and have real lives on day. As challenging as these days are, they are also so sweet.
I felt a little sad putting up Bailey's preemie clothes recently, knowing that stage is behind us and she'll never be that little again. But I was also glad that she was moving into bigger clothes and moving on to bigger things. Before I know it she'll be a teen, have her first boyfriend, think I'm trying to ruin her life, and learn how to drive a car. Or so I've been told it happens that fast. Does it really?

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Road trip- the rest of the story

Day 1
Day 2- Back for more
Day 3- Down on the farm
Day 4- Flooded waters, drowned plans
Day 5- Oh, keys! Where art thou?

Well, sort of the rest of the story. In short, the wedding was beautiful (or so I heard, I missed most of it because Reagan insisted on doing somersaults down the aisle). The reception was nice and elegant (Reagan thought so too. She tried real hard to take down the tulle and white twinkle lights so she could wrap them like a scarf). About 7:30pm we left the reception for the long road home. Apparently we left too early because the reception ended shortly after with wedding crashers, eight squad cars, and some of the bridal party getting into a fight with the crashers. Poor Jordan. It was all beautiful anyway.

The road home ended much as it started. There was a lot more adventure and drama, laughs and tears, and lots and lots of stops. But all of that is inconsequential to what I want my girls to remember about the trip. I want them to know that we had a good time. I want them to know that they had the opportunity to see family that loves them and cares about them very much. I want my girls to know how important family is and that sacrifices should be made to take an opportunity to see that family from time to time. I want my girls to know that should ANY family member be passing through their town, they should stop whatever they are doing and go meet said family member. I don't care if it is a fourth cousin twice removed and you don't even know their name. Family is that important. Go see them.

During our road trip, we took turns reading a book that my Grandma had recently given me. It is her autobiography with hundreds of pages of stories and photos. I am so grateful my Grandma went through all of the trouble to write that book. I will cherish it forever.

Grandma is one of 11 surviving children. She even has triplet brothers that were born in the early 40's. Can you imagine how rare that must have been to have triplets and to have them all survive? In the book, Grandma talks about a road trip they took. She says,

We took a trip in may. We went to Ohio to visit Mary and Bill. We had a big
old car, a Hudson, I think. Mom, Dad and Reno sat in the front seat (no seat
belts then). Dad put a bench in the center for Jim, John, Joe (the triplets),
and Ruth. Arnie, Joyce, Eileen and I sat in the back seat. We all took turns
holding Teresa who was only six months old. At their house we slept on the floor with pillows and blankets. We had a great and memorable trip.

They didn't have a mini van stocked with juice boxes, cookies, and a DVD player. They didn't have a hotel with beds and room service. During all of my stress and anxiety with crying kids, lost kids and keys, getting separated on elevators, getting separated on interstates, and getting detoured by floods, I forgot to stop and be grateful. Megan read that little passage to me while I was driving and in a moment I was changed. Grandma reminded us what it was all about.

So through all of the stories and the drama and adventure, girls, I want to you remember one thing, "We had a great and memorable trip."

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

Me and Wii

Many of you have asked how the Wii thing has been going after we finally managed to track one down.

Here's one sign that the Wii invasion has taken over. This is my dining room. Can you spot what doesn't belong here?Apparently the dining room is the best place to get your Wii remotes all charged and ready for Wiiing.

In truth, I'm loving the Wii. But I'm having a serious love-hate relationship with the darn Wii Fit. I love the super hula hoop and the strength and balancing exercises. They are pretty fun and I feel like I'm getting a nice little workout. What I don't like is the "oh!" sound it makes when I step on the board to be weighed. It makes an "oh!" in the "oh-my-gawd-I-think-you-are-going-to-break-me" kind of way that makes me feel more baby elephant than human.

And I was digging the motivation and how it kept track of my results. That was as long as I was on track. It seems that the industrious, skinny Japanese didn't program any concept of a vacation into the Wii Fit. So after taking a few days off to go to the lake and coming back heavier than when I left, Wii was not pleased. Wii basically told me he thought I broke up with him. He was spiteful for it. He politely told me I was a lazy, lard arse that needed to put down the twinkies and exercise and visit him every day.

If I put on a few pounds and stay away for like a week, will Wii go all HAL on me and take over and hold me prisoner? I am scared. I think for the time being I will meet his demands and visit him faithfully every day. I need to make Wii happy again. I hope my husband doesn't get jealous.

Monday, July 7, 2008

What's for dinner, BBQ Pork Cuban Wraps

I love to make pulled pork. It's just so easy and yummy and usually sets me up for several meals. In my quest to create something other than just another BBQ sandwich, I came up with BBQ Pork Cuban Wraps. I'm calling them Cuban because it is VERY loosely based on the yumminess that is a Cuban Sandwich.

* Prep time: 15 minutes
* Time to cook: about 5 minutes

* BBQ Pulled Pork (buy a tub premade or make your own with THIS recipe)
* Hot dog relish
* Spicy mustard
* Swiss cheese (grated)
* Burrito size tortilla wraps

*Take a tortilla and add some of all of the ingredients in layers.
* Wrap the filled tortilla like a burrito
* Nuke each wrap in the microwave for 1.5 minutes

That's it!

Serve with plantains and black beans and rice. The plantains you can buy premade in the frozen food section. Just nuke and serve. Reagan loves plantains! She had half of them eaten before they even got to the platter.

What's for dinner, BBQ pulled pork

To honor Joanna's request for pork in a crockpot, I give you BBQ pulled pork. Yes, this would have been far more useful BEFORE your 4th of July BBQ, but you don't have to wait for a special day for yummy pulled pork. This recipe seriously couldn't be more simple. Even on a morning when you are running behind to get out the door you have enough time to start this.

This is going to make a lot of pork, so I'll give you ideas for two different meals from it.

Prep time: 5 minutes
Cook time: About 6-8 hours on low depending on size of roast and cuts (sorry Joanna,
I don't know that you can make it to 10 hours. Get a crockpot with a timer!)

  • * 1 boston butt roast (about 4-6 lb roast)
  • * 1 jar BBQ sauce
  • * optional: onions, garlic


  • * Add one boston butt roast (Which is really a pig shoulder, not a butt. Go figure.) to your crockpot. Go ahead and slice it into two or three pieces if you need to in order to get it in your crockpot. Don't cut the pieces too small or it will be done way ahead of time (Unless that is what you want. In that case, go for it.).
  • * Dump 3/4 jar of BBQ sauce on top (you'll use the rest later)
  • * Optional: dump about 1/2 bag frozen onion and a tablespoon or two of garlic.
  • * Cook on low until the meat falls apart, usually anywhere between 6-8 hours.
  • * Take it out and use two forks to shred it.
  • * Add the remainder of the BBQ sauce to the pork.

Note about BBQ sauce: It can be ANY BBQ sauce. My favorite is whatever happened to be BOGO at my local Publix. I will often use more than just 1 bottle of BBQ sauce. I sometimes use the entire bottle in the cooking and then use up to 1/2 bottle to mix in afterwards.

Meal idea 1, All American BBQ:
  • * BBQ pork sandwiches (go crazy, add a little coleslaw directly on the sandwich)
  • * Baked beans
  • * Potato salad

Meal idea 2, Go Cuban:
(the BBQ Cuban wraps are entirely my creation, click below for the recipe)

Back from holiday

I hope everyone had a happy 4th of July holiday. Here's why I haven't posted over the last several days

We spent the weekend with some friends at their lake house on Lake Lanier. We had a wonderful time swimming, boating, jet skiing, playing games, and eating great food. That's Bailey enjoying some ripe, fresh watermelon in the last picture.

I've got many, many posts in draft that I'll be finishing and posting over the next few days.

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

It's time to come out of hiding

Mrs. R seems to think that no one reads blogs in the states of North Dakota, South Dakota, Wyoming, Nebraska, Montana, and New Mexico. This is because her all knowing stat counter tells her so. I know I have a few readers that hail from these far away lands. If you are one of those, it is time to stand up and be counted.

If you reside in one of the above mentioned states, head on over to Mrs. R's post "Where Are They" and leave her a comment telling her I told you to let you know you really do exist. (Pretty please, I don't want to have to admit I am typing to imaginary people again).

Some have a theory that you are there in plain hiding all along, that your IP is just showing up in another location. I know this is entirely possible. I live in Georgia but my home IP shows up on my stat counter as Mt. Laurel, NJ (no clue why). Admittedly, it took me a bit to figure that out. I thought I had someone in NJ that was really, really digging my blog--ALMOST as much as I was. But it turns out I was the only dork digging my blog. Hmph.

So those of you in the above mentioned square and semi-square states: you have a mission. Go tell Mrs. R you live in one of those states and you read blogs. Prove to her you aren't living in a covered wagon and eating by campfire (or if you are, that your covered wagon is piped with internet and XM radio at least).

Boring blog goes bling

So, Shannon did some magic and, voila! My new blog design is unfurled. There are a few small modifications that still need to be made and I'll be adding some new things to my sidebar (oh, the anticipation, huh?). But this is it, my new blog.

Reagan loves to look at my blog and see pictures of people she knows and she shouts out, "Look! There's (fill in the blank)" She saw the cute little characterture on my header and said, "Look! There's mama!" Oh, good answer baby! You get a free pass today. Go be destructive and have fun.

Want some bling for your blog too? Check out Shannon at eight crazy designs. Her link is on my sidebar.

My husband on doing laundry

Bill was helping to get a load of laundry going today.

Me: When you are ready to start the wash let me know and I'll get it going

Bill: Why don't you just tell me what you want and I'll get it going

Me: Ok. Add two scoops of Oxy Clean Baby (has to be baby, Reagan is allergic to the other stuff) to the pre wash section. Add Dreft to level 2 on the cap. Add the Gain fabric softner to the section, use the cap as a guide, don't use the washing machine measure. Set it at normal wash, add prewash, stain cycle, heavy soil, extra rinse. Make sure the water is at hot/cold.

Bill: Why don't I just tell you when I'm ready to start the wash and you can get it going.

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

The hunter has captured its prey

After weeks of careful stalking and hunting. The hunter has finally captured a rare and elusive beast.
Translation: We finally got a Wii y'all!

The hunt was tedious. The search for the beast was far and wide.
Translation: I spent hours on the phone calling stores every day and scouring the intenet.
But armed with the latest weaponry, we were able to narrow the beast into a corner.
Tranlation: Let me recommend and Target's in-store inventory tracker on the Wii and the Wii Fit

Even then, the beast put up a fight. There were hours of perilous stalking.
Translation: I made Bill go stand in line at 7am at a Target that showed a Wii Fit in stock.

And while we finally captured the most rarest of beasts, we still didn't have our main Target.
Translation: We were actually able to get the Wii Fit and Mario Kart before we were able to get the console. Kinda useless that way but fun to look at and dream.

But in the end, the beast proved to be no match for our cunning skills
Translation: I finally called a Gamestop that was just taking a few off the truck and they said they would hold one for me until 5:00.

Now the hunter shall feast on it's capture. Tonight we eat and dance in front of the great fire!
Translation: Don't call me tonight. I'll be playing Wii.

I'm getting a makeover

Ok, not me (although I could use one), my blog! After my debacle a few weeks ago where I tried to go from two to three columns and lost every link and widget I had, I figured this template thing had best be left to the pros. I contacted Shannon from and she's been very patient in working with me and creating a brilliant design that was exactly what I wanted. I can't wait to show y'all! The debut should be in the next few days so stay tuned!